‘Inclusive Design’ Defined

‘Inclusive Design’ Defined

In an interview with Fast Company, product designer, Kat Holmes, shared a most excellent way to think about ‘Inclusive Design.’

“I took a look at the words ‘inclusive’ and ‘exclusive,’ and the root of both is ‘clud.’ It’s Latin for ‘to shut.’ To shut out. Thinking of that mental model, of ingroups and outgroups, I thought maybe there’s something wrong with the mental model in our language.

In my book, I ended up writing about exclusion first, because everyone, universally, says it’s the same thing. What is exclusion? It’s when you’re left out! Exclusion became the sharp point that allowed me to talk about inclusion.

I’ve now evolved my thinking to consider exclusion as a specific way to embody inclusive design. That may be as close as we get to a definition….

The thing with inclusive design, and the nuance that doesn’t come through, is that it was always about including excluded communities in the design process–not marketing to people with disabilities.

It’s not, you’ve designed something for a female population, and therefore it’s inclusive. It’s, did you involve someone in your design process who was previously unable to participate?

How you get there is what makes it inclusive, not that it’s targeted at an underrepresented or underserved community…

Inclusive design is a process, not a result.”

~ Kat Holmes

A 404 Page That Delivers All the Feels

A 404 Page That Delivers All the Feels

Amazon is a powerhouse when it comes to pricing, delivery and instant gratification.

Yet, while they’ve steadily been making much-needed optimizations to the UX / ID of their website, there’s still much room for improvement.

There is, however, one Easter egg hidden on the ‘Zon-dot-com that is smart, heartwarming and strategic all at the same time!


Most organizations make the mistake of paying little to no attention to the design or content of their 404 error page. A solid 404 page is essential, as it is where a user will land if they enter or click on a URL that doesn’t or no longer exists on a brand’s website.

First and foremost, a 404 page should never be a dead end. It should always have one or more calls-to-action to help a user find what they’re looking for.

In this case, Amazon’s 404 page includes a search bar and a hyperlink to the site’s Home page.

Then, to capitalize on human beings’ inability to resist cute and cuddly animals, the page features a pic of an adorable labrador named Lucy. But, and this is the best part, the photo isn’t gratuitous in the least!

Instead, Amazon utilizes its 404 page as an opportunity to recruit future employees… which is apropos since the eCom giant is on a huge hiring global spree nowadays.

When a curious user clicks on the CTA text, “Meet the dogs of Amazon,” located beneath the image of Lucy, he is taken to a “Working at Amazon” sub page that touts how the ‘Zon is a dog-friendly place to work:


The “Meet the dogs of Amazon” page is super cute.

What would make it cuter, however, is if it were 508 accessible.

The text next to each dog is embedded in an image and the alt tag only reads, “Image of a dog named Lucy,” for instance. So someone with a visual handicap, relying on a screen reader, would be S-O-L in seeing just how cute and clever this recruitment page is.

Despite this, major kudos to Team Amazon for having a strategic 404 user flow that delivers smiles and future employees in a refreshing way.

An Important Takeaway on Site Security from the Cloudflare Bleed

An Important Takeaway on Site Security from the Cloudflare Bleed

“What [the Cloudflare] breach does illustrate is that every time we trust a company or tool or piece of software to make our computers [and websites] more secure, we also create a new potential vulnerability because we’re now relying on them.

So if there’s any weakness in that company or tool or software (and there almost certainly is) that’s our weakness, too. 

That’s not a reason to avoid all security products and services, but it is a reason to choose them carefully and not assume that more security always equals better security. 

New security protections create new vulnerabilities and more computer security doesn’t necessarily make us more or less secure, it just makes us secure—and insecure—in slightly different ways.”

~ Dr. Josephine Wolff

Coach Bill Belichick’s Epic Rant… and Microsoft & the NFL IT Dept’s No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday, during a press call, New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, went on a 5-minute rant exposing serious flaws in the NFL’s IT and AV infrastructure and worth ethic… alongside his frustration with the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet.

Read the full rant below. Not only is it an interesting glimpse into how much technology is at play on and off the field during an NFL game…

But it’s also a reminder of the uber importance of developing software and applications that are intuitive for your end consumer–in this case, a 64-old NFL coach.

When your consumer would rather revert back to analog (in this case paper and pen) than use your modern technology, you’ve got a serious problem.

Continue reading “Coach Bill Belichick’s Epic Rant… and Microsoft & the NFL IT Dept’s No Good, Very Bad Day”

Did you know the Washington Post is in the Amazon Affiliate game?

Washington Post logo superimposed on top of an Amazon.com box

I was reading this WaPo article in which famous authors shared what books have had the biggest influence on them, when I noticed that each of the books listed therein were hyperlinked to an Amazon product detail page, with an Amazon Affiliate tag embedded in the url.

Screenshot of a Washington Post article with a link to an Amazon product detail page for a book

Amazon product detail page for Empire Falls

I was surprised / not surprised that a media company had turned to Amazon as an additional stream of revenue.

And then I remembered that Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, is also the owner of WaPo.

Will be interesting to see if other media outlets will start following WaPo’s lead…